Visual Music is, according to the sleeve notes, a collaboration with the photographer Tomas Moss; the ‘power of combining vision and audio’, we are informed, offers a broader experience than either would alone, and we are directed to the ‘Visual Music’ website to discover more about this idea. The music on the album is all either composed by Brasilians, or inspired by Brasil, and on the website there are a lot of very beautifully composed photographs of Brasil and Brasilians. There is also a certain amount of explanatory text in Norwegian, but as it has all been inserted into the layouts as image files, I wasn’t able to paste it into Google for one of its Pythonesque translations.
The five pieces collected on Elle Avait Raison Hathor take their inspiration from five female deities, from geographically disparate mythological traditions – ancient Egyptian, Japanese, Inuit and classical Greek. To exploit mythical archetypes in a way that respects the specificities of a modern subjectivity takes a deft touch and a nuanced understanding, both of the source mythology, and the way its discourses are articulated in the here and now. There is a great deal of material already in circulation that shoehorns lived experience into a generic New Age symbolism, without adding anything to its audience’s understanding; fortunately, the experiences conveyed by Vincent Berger Rond’s compositions, both musical and poetic, are nothing if not particular.
Glockamole is a great name for a comedy hip-hop record. There’s clearly a lot of wordplay left in ripping the piss out of hip-hop’s tropes and clichés, but I have to say there are probably not many jokes left in it. It’s a well worked mine, especially gangsta rap, bearing in mind that everything N.W.A. released after Straight Outta Compton was basically a joke. No, it takes more to make a funny hip-hop record than just pointing out how ludicrous hip-hop is, or being incongruously self-deprecating. It requires some comic creativity to raise a laugh in any medium, but luckily for me, I find Fat Ross pretty darn funny.